Birge & Fuller Steeple on Steeple Clock
JJ-256 Birge & Fuller Wagon Spring powered Steeple on Steeple Clock.
This is a sweetheart of a clock. It is a very good example of a steeple on steeple clock manufactured by the firm Birge & Fuller of Bristol, Connecticut.
This is a highly collectable example due to the fact that it is powered with a "Wagon spring mechanism." The movement in this clock is constructed in brass. It is quite typical in that it is designed to eight days on a full wind and strike the hour on a wire gong. Where it differs is in the manner in which it is powered. (A Joseph Ives Patent.) This model is powered by a leaf spring or wagon spring. The most common method of powering a Connecticut clock is with a coil spring. When one winds this clock, cords pull on levers which tension the leaf springs. These springs are mounted to the bottom of the case. This added mechanical feature must have been very costly to produce as compared to the standard coil spring driven movement. The wagon spring example incorporated several cast iron parts which include a leaf spring, levers and hoists or pulleys. As a result, this clock probably didn’t sell very well. Today, because of the limited number of clocks made and the survivability of those that did, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find good examples such as this one.
The clock case is veneered with mahogany and retains it's original finish and lovely brown color. The curved surfaces that frame the case feature veneer from the same flitch and are positioned to reflect the grain pattern of the other side. The tablets are also original to this clock and are in outstanding condition. They are frosted and the floral design is cut into the glass from the back. The dial on this clock is painted on tin and features the traditional Roman numeral time ring. The Clockmaker's label is pasted onto the backboard. It is in good overall condition. Standing on four bun feet, this clock measures only 27.5 inches tall by approximately 13.5 inches wide. It was made circa 1845.
About Birge & Fuller Bristol, Conn.
John Birge (1785 -1862) and Thomas Franklin Fuller (1798 – 1848) shared a successful partnership in Bristol Connecticut from 1844 through 1848. They made many steeple clocks with a large variation of movements. This firm is probably best known for making steeple on steeple clocks powered by wagon spring movements.
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